GRANVILLE — The Hebron man who was critically hurt by a hit-and-run driver last week has improved in Albany Medical Center as police and prosecutors try to figure out what, if any, charges should be filed against the elderly woman who was believed to have hit him.
Frank Grunert, 78, was listed in fair condition Wednesday, eight days after he was hospitalized in critical condition with a severe head injury. He was hit by a vehicle as he walked along Church Street to a meeting at the nearby Methodist Church, with the car continuing on.
The car lost a sideview mirror, and Granville Police linked it to a vehicle, owned by an elderly resident of the village of Granville, which was found to be missing a mirror. Her car was seized Friday pursuant to a search warrant.
Granville Police had the vehicle transported to the State Police station in Latham on Wednesday for review by evidence technicians.
The driver, a Granville woman in her 80s, has not been charged, as police finalize the evidentiary review of her car and try to determine how her condition will fit in to the possible prosecution.
Her lawyer, Michael Martin, said she did not know she hit someone and that she suffers from dementia.
The woman’s health issues complicated a potential police interview of her, Bassett said. Her right to counsel was invoked on her behalf.
“It’s unfortunate, but we still have to proceed with our investigation,” the chief said.
Bassett said it was unclear what charges would be filed, and his office was reviewing the case with the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Tony Jordan said the investigation was ongoing as of Wednesday.
Martin said he didn’t believe criminal charges were warranted.
“I can’t see them dealing with this criminally. If they want to issue her tickets, issue her tickets,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a criminal case.”
The woman’s privilege to drive could also be formally addressed as part of the case.
“It doesn’t appear she should have been driving, from what I have seen since,” Bassett said.
Martin said the woman’s family was aware of her apparent involvement in the crash, and she had only been driving short distances at that point. She is no longer driving.